Crestone, Colorado: A Green Place to Be

In a small town remotely located on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley large eco-friendly ideas are taking root. The place is a close-knit community of approximately 130 people, called Crestone, Colorado and the concept is a better living and built environment for everyone.

Many different elements are part of the everyday life there. They are internationally known for alternative buildings and have approximately 100 sustainable homes is the area.

Crestone was established in 1880 as a mining town, has had its peaks and declines in population and trades throughout the years and is now a leading example in how communities can be green.

They host an annual Alternative Energy and Sustainability Fair over Labor Day weekend. This year will mark their 19th consecutive fair and will be hosted by Living Arts Systems. Living Arts Systems is a renewable energy project development company.

The fair consists of hands-on workshops in natural building, bio-fuels and alternative energy and a Sustainable Home Tour. The Home Tour features straw bale, cob, adobe, earthship, earthbag, cordwood, papercrete, aer block and other alternative construction methods and materials.

Crestone also is credited with the talents of many individual eco-friendly products and businesses. Two such products under one business, Growing Domes of Crestone, are the Geodesic Greenhouses and the Giza Gardens.

Geodesic Greenhouses are spherical or domed shaped, energy-efficient, hobby greenhouse kits. They are solar powered and are able to provide a year-round growing area with little to no heat or cooling needed. They come in a range of sizes from 12 feet diameter to 51 feet diameter. Currently two new domes are being built to add to the already 32 existing in the local Crestone area.

Giza Gardens are greenhouses that are designed and built by the same builders and installers that produce Geodesic Dome Greenhouses.

Giza Gardens are pyramid shaped so that excess heat rises and is able to escape easily. They have flat sides that face southeast and southwest for better diffusion of the sun. Plus the northern walls are insulated to reduce heat loss in the winter. Their final design element that is crucial to being a successful greenhouse is that the foundation walls are insulated to help the soil retain its warmth. They come in sizes 2 feet squared (for apartment style living) up to 6 feet squared which allows 36 feet of growing room.

Giza Garden

Crestone, a community of small size, is committed to the grandiose idea of making the planet a better place to live. As their ideas are slowly becoming mainstream in much larger scaled areas, using green materials and growing one’s own food will eventually be the only way to exist. Resources: Town of Crestone, Colorado,, Giza Gardens, and Growingdomes of Crestone